One day at the age of seven, I was playing at my best friend’s house when his father called us over to the cellar. To my amazement, he was pressing grapes to make homemade wine. And from the rafters of the ceiling hung hundreds of curing sausages and pepperonis and aged salamis. Never had I seen such a thing or even known something like that existed. Boiled dinners with potatoes and cabbage were staples in our home. My friend’s father pulled down one of the pepperonis and sliced us off a piece, and I was hooked. From that moment on, I knew that I wanted to be a chef.
I started my culinary career at the age of 11 washing dishes at a small Italian restaurant in Boston, MA. I went on to work at some of the top restaurants in Boston and the surrounding areas, including Cape Cod and Hampton Beach, and Key West Florida. I eventually landed as the executive sous chef at the famous Ken’s Steak House while attending Newbury Culinary School in Brookline, MA.
Before accepting the senior executive chef position at Radford University, where I spent 13 wonderful years, I was the Chef de Cuisine at the award-winning Virginia Tech’s West End Market and prior to that I was the Chef at The Farmhouse in Christiansburg VA. In addition to receiving my B.S in Business Management from Liberty University, my culinary achievements include multiple medals in American Culinary Federation competitions, National Association of College & University Food Services awards and recipe contests. But, “My greatest accomplishments are my three wonderful children — Andrew, Cassidy and Dylan — and my loving wife, Emily.
I started Working for Al’s on First in a restaurant consulting role about a year ago, and the partnership blossomed, and I have recently transitioned into the role as Executive Chef. I am so excited to train and build the team of talented cooks here at Al’s on First. We are preparing to be the best restaurant in the NRV and beyond. Our new menu roll-out will feature local and sustainable meats, game, cheeses and produce, tapping into the best of what the Appalachian Mountains has to offer. I will see you at the Table!
- Chef B.